ABP embeds drone technology into asset management practices

ABP embeds drone technology into asset management practices
ABP and Aerodyne colleagues at the Port of Immingham

Associated British Ports (ABP) has successfully embedded drone technology into its asset management practices and policies, following an 18 month programme.

It utilised PwC’s specialist drone digital transformation team to support drone adoption and transformation in asset management, while Aerodyne Group was selected as ABP’s drone service provider.

According to the port operator, analysis and data collection from the flights has demonstrated considerable cost saving and benefits: operations were safer, 25% more cost effective and took 55% less time compared to traditional methods for selected assets.

Mike McCartain, ABP’s group director safety, engineering and marine, said: “After an initial proof of concept with PwC, we realised drones could offer significant value to our asset and property inspections, using drone and data technology integrated with a secure cloud platform. They are safer, faster and more cost-effective, enabling us to optimise operations and reduce risks.

“The cloud platform we’ve built with our partners gives our teams simple and intuitive access to the drone information, including the ability to build inspection reports in the browser, aligned to our existing asset management systems.”

Development in the past six months has focused on site testing with Aerodyne across eight locations in the UK.

In parallel, ABP worked with Aerodyne and PwC to build a cutting-edge drone visual asset management system which enables its teams to view asset condition dashboards, asset management information and build inspection reports, with only a browser required to access.

Steve Russell, a partner at PwC, added: “It can be complex to implement drone technology and our team of digital transformation experts have supported ABP through the drone case for change, vendor selection and implementation, ensuring a systematic and low risk approach to making technology work for their business.”

ABP’s next project is the development of an in-house drone capability to complement the Aerodyne solutions and it has just retained PwC’s specialist drone team to assist with this critical implementation.